Manchester United manager ten Hag furious at FA Cup win reaction

Struggling United manager says making it to two finals in two years is ‘magnificent’ after his team was roundly criticised for blowing a 3-0 lead.

Soccer Football - FA Cup - Semi Final - Coventry City v Manchester United - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - April 21, 2024 Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reacts Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge
Erik ten Hag's Manchester United are currently in seventh place in the Premier League standings and look set to miss out on the Champions League [Andrew Couldridge/Action Images via Reuters]

After limping into the FA Cup final, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has come out fighting against the reactions to his team’s eventual win over Coventry City.

United were roundly criticised for blowing a 3-0 lead against their second-tier opponents on Sunday and needing a penalty shootout to advance to the final.

Ten Hag himself admitted United was fortunate when Coventry saw an extra-time winner ruled out by VAR for a marginal offside. But with uncertainty surrounding his future after a disappointing season, he hit out at his critics after leading United to back-to-back FA Cup finals.

“The reaction from you [the media] was embarrassing,” he said at a news conference on Tuesday.

“Top football is about results, and we made it to the final and deserved it.

“Twice [two FA Cup finals] in two years – it is magnificent. For me as manager, four cup finals in four years. The comments are a disgrace.”

United will play Manchester City on May 25 in a repeat of last year’s final.

The manager has been widely criticised, adding to speculation that he is on borrowed time at Old Trafford.

Former Premier League striker Chris Sutton said the performance would “cement his sacking”.

But ten Hag was in a defiant mood on the eve of United’s Premier League match against bottom side Sheffield United on Wednesday.

“We lost control for 20 minutes. We also had bad luck, 3-2, 3-3. We were very lucky in the end, it is clear. Penalties was very good, and we made it to the final. It is a huge achievement.”

Ten Hag won the Dutch Cup with Ajax in 2019 and 2021 and was runner-up in 2022. He also won three Dutch league titles as Ajax coach.

Under ten Hag, Ajax reached the semifinals of the Champions League in 2019.

It was that record that persuaded United he was the right candidate to turn the club’s fortunes around after years of decline since former manager Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

Ten Hag won the English League Cup in his first season with United last year and qualified for the Champions League. But he has struggled to build on that early success this term.

His team are currently in seventh place in the standings and look set to miss out on the Champions League, trailing fourth-place Aston Villa by 16 points with two games in hand.

New co-owner Jim Ratcliffe is overseeing sweeping changes at the club and speculation is rife about ten Hag’s position.

Source: News Agencies